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Tomato and Basil Bread

4.00 (1 Votes)

This winning recipe from the National Festival of Breads will be a winner at your house. It's a hearty home-baked wheat bread thats chock full of rich sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil, that will fill your kitchen with mouthwatering aromas.

What You'll Need:
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 to 5.5 cups unbleached bread flour (we tested with King Arthur)
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 2/3 cup chopped basil
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, well drained and finely chopped
What To Do:
  1. Place warm water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
     
  2. Add milk, oil, yeast mixture, eggs, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix until well combined, about 2 minutes.
     
  3. Stir in enough of the flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface or with a dough hook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl; turn to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes, until doubled in size.
     
  4.  Punch down dough; divide in half. Using a rolling pin, roll one piece into a 22 x 8-1/2-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with half the garlic powder, cheese, basil, and tomatoes. Starting with the longer side, roll up tightly, jelly-roll fashion. Pinch edges to seal. Place roll seam-side down on baking sheet. With kitchen shears, cut lengthwise down center of roll, about 1 inch deep, to within 1/2 inch of ends. Keeping seam-side down, form an “S” shape. Tuck both ends under center of “S” to form a connected “figure eight”; pinch ends to seal.
     
  5. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes, until doubled in size. Repeat process with remaining dough.
     
  6.  Bake first loaf in a preheated 350 degree F. oven 35 to 40 minutes. Tent loaf with foil after 15 to 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack. Bake remaining loaf.
Notes

Makes 2 loaves.

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